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Help! Keyboard club ideas needed

Discussion in 'Music' started by primaryteacher12, Apr 7, 2011.

  1. Hi,
    I am in my final year at uni studying primary education, and beginning to apply for jobs. I play the piano, I am very passionate about it, and would love to run a keyboard club if the opportunity arises.
    I had a go at teaching keyboard in my final placement to a class of around 20 children- and it wasn't as easy as I thought! I wondered if anyone that runs a keyboard club who has had lots of experience can let me know of any useful resources out there, as well as give me advice on where to start when teaching a lot of children keyboard (some children with lots of knowledge about how to play and some children with no knowledge at all) and how to ensure they progress. Please help!!
  2. silverfern

    silverfern New commenter

    You may have tried this already, but differentiate the tasks.
    Eg. The whole class learns to play the same piece, but some just play the bass line (ie. one note per bar, perhaps notated as letter names instead of stave notation); some play the melody (again, notated as letter names/stave notation), some play chords.
    Students get to choose which task they would like to do, based on their ability. Perhaps they'd like to try playing the melody, but can't read stave notation yet; give them the melody notated as letter names. Or perhaps they're just starting to get confident with note reading; give them the bass line - stave notation, but not too many notes...
  3. spanboy

    spanboy Occasional commenter

    Give them tunes they know and LIKE. A keyboard group is perfect for differentiation - as Silverfern says, let the pupils themselves choose their own level of difficulty. I've found that by doing this, more pupils remain focused and on task than if you dictate what they should play. Obviously, if you have a high flyer who is coasting with an easy part then you have to pick up on it etc. etc.
    I teach 3 year 6 groups and have tailor made arrangements to suit the individual groups. One group has a particularly gifted pianist (for his age) who is studying the Titanic theme in his piano lessons - with both hands (very independent) in E major, so I built an arrangement of it around him. He plays it (in E) on a more advanced keyboard than the normal class ones and I notch up the transpose button a semitone to F to make it a bit easier. The rest of the class then share melody, fingered chords, semibreve bass notes etc in F.
    The second group are working on Hedwig's theme, from Harry Potter and the third group really like Grieg's 'in the Hall of the Mountain King' - lots of chromatics in the melody for the more advanced, with an easy, alternating crotchet tonic-dominant bass ostinato, changing along with the harmonies.
    I also make it sound like an orchestra/band and assign them different instrument sounds to the respective parts - they love being part of the final product and are excited that they are playing 'real music'!
    Parents love it as well if it's recorded and the pupils (who want to) take it home as an mp3 or whatever on a memory stick for mum and dad to hear.

    Hope this is of some help.

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